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Oklahoma State vs. Pitt

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The 1-1* Cowboys look to bounce back after a heartbreaker last week

Southeast Louisiana v Oklahoma State Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

When: Saturday, September 17th, 2:30pm CST.

Where: Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, OK)

Watch: ESPN

Listen: Cowboy Radio Network

Oklahoma State University vs. The University of Pittsburgh

Well guys, last week was rough. Real rough. Actually, I’m still slightly recovering, but Pitt will be in town tomorrow, and it’s time to move on! We can do that, right?

Our last non-conference game (thank goodness) is against Pitt, and this one will not be easy. Second year head coach, Pat Narduzzi, brings a veteran team to Stillwater. They will be one of the most physical teams we will face all season long, and will be looking to dictate this game by grinding out long offensive drives, and chewing up the clock. In a tough ACC Conference, Pitt is one of the teams with a shot to win it, but are on the outside looking in. They will be looking to show that they are able to play with fast teams like OSU.

As you likely know, the Cowboys suffered a heartbreaker after a botched call by the refs, and everyone is interested to see how the Cowboys show up tomorrow. Are they going to show up with their tails between their legs, or will they show up focused and determined to prove the naysayers wrong? Time will tell.

Things to watch for — OSU

Central Michigan v Oklahoma State Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images
  • Mason Rudolph needs to shake last week’s performance off. Mason looked timid. A lot of his throws were sailing high, and he just looked to be aiming it, instead of throwing it. We need a confident Mason Rudolph to show up and lead this team to a victory tomorrow.
  • Mike Yurcich and the offense need to step it up. This offense looked very mediocre last week, and I know we have better players than what we showed. I’d like to see us run the ball more, and take a few more shots downfield. Sometimes I feel like we fall in love with the quick wide receiver screens, and we can’t do much else. Let’s expand the playbook a little bit and take some shots.
  • The defense needs to buckle down against the run, and get off the field on third down. Our defensive line and linebackers are going to be busy tomorrow. Pitt can run the ball down defender’s throats if they let them, and that’s exactly what Pitt wants to do. Pitt wants to control the ball, and grind our defense down the field. They ran for 341 yards last week against Penn State, and look to have the same success in Stillwater tomorrow. The key for the Cowboys is to really lock down on third down. The Cowboys were 1-11 on stopping third down conversions last week, which ultimately led to their defeat. Getting off the field will be vital.

Things to watch for — Pitt

Penn State v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
  • Run the ball. Simple enough. The success of this offense depends on the ground game, and they have multiple running backs who are able to chew up yardage. Most capable of all, James Conner. The speed of the Oklahoma State defense will be a problem for Pitt out on the edges, so expect this game to be played in the trenches.
  • Play your game. If Pitt can put together a couple 5-7 minute offensive drives, they will be in the drivers seat for this game. Pitt will be looking to wear down the Oklahoma State defense and neutralize their speed. They are bigger, stronger and more physical than the Cowboys, if they take the speed away from them, they should have success.

Key to the game

I think the whole key to the game is how the Cowboys respond to last week’s loss. Like I mentioned in our Roundtable this week, the CMU game is either one that can bring a team together, or break one. If we see a team that comes out flat, it’s because their minds are still in Week 2. There has been a lot of skepticism about the Cowboys from the media, fans, etc., but it’s time the Cowboys put an end to that, and come out pistols firin’!!!

Prediction

Mason has a bounce back game, and throws for 300 and 2 touchdowns. Justice Hill breaks a 50+ yarder. Our defense gives up 200+ yards on the ground, but contains the damage in the red zone. The Cowboys come back with an attitude, and outlast the Panthers.

OSU — 31 Pitt — 22